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Clean slate? Sarkisian starts with no depth chart

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Washington begins spring practice Tuesday without a pecking order, at least officially. New coach Steve Sarkisian didn't release a depth chart.

"This is a clean slate," Sarkisian said. "Every kid is going to get a great opportunity to compete .... To say one kid is a starter and one kid isn't wouldn't be fair because we haven't coached them."

Sarkisian's chief message while meeting with reporters, in fact, was competing and competition. Washington, just like Sarkisian's former program, USC, now will have its own competition Tuesdays so the Huskies can "learn to compete, down after down, day after day."

So while learning new offensive and defensive systems this spring will be front and center, Sarkisian clearly believes the Huskies, coming off a 0-12 season, will need to make a massive attitude adjustment.

On the plus side, he celebrated the offseason conditioning program, noting that the Huskies offensive line, needing to improve its athleticism, combined to lose 200 pounds.

Some quick notes:

  • Sarkisian said there will be some "give and take" between his pro-style scheme and the skill set of athletic quarterback Jake Locker, who is fully recovered from the thumb injury that ended his 2008 season in game four. He did say boosting Locker's completion percentage to 60 percent is non-negotiable.

  • Senio Kelemete, who started on the defensive line last year as a true freshman, has moved to the offensive line, though it's unclear if he will end up at guard or tackle. "We need more depth and have to be more athletic on the offensive line," Sarkisian said.

  • Linebacker E.J. Savannah, banished by former coach Tyrone Willingham, is not only back, Sarkisian said he'd start off as a first-team outside linebacker along with Mason Foster. Donald Butler will be in the middle.